Purpose: To assess halitosis and determine the relationship between halitosis and tongue scores, periodontal status and DMFT among dental students.
Materials and Methods: The study comprised 268 (178 female, 90 male) dental students. Halitosis was measured using a Halimeter and the organoleptic method. Halitosis was diagnosed with a mean volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) level of >=125 ppb and an organoleptic measurement of >= 2 on a 0- to 5-point scale. Tongue scores were obtained using a tongue coating index (TCI), periodontal status was measured and assessed using the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN) and DMFT indices were calculated.
Results: Halitosis occurred at higher rates among male students than female students (83% vs 71%, P = 0.02). No differences were found in halitosis rates among students in different academic years (P = 0.6) or age groups (P = 0.6). A relationship was found between halitosis and tongue scores (P < 0.001) and between halitosis and mean CPITN scores (P = 0.004). The mean DMFT was 4.02 (SD = 3). No relationship was found between halitosis and DMFT index (P = 0.5).
Conclusion: Halitosis was prevalent among dental students. Given their responsibilities for diagnosing and improving oral health, they may benefit from increased awareness of the problem and encouragement to improve their own oral hygiene, especially male students.
Keywords: CPITN, dental students, DMFT, Halimeter, halitosis, tongue scores